Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Luiz Villas Boas: A Ultima Viagem

The film “Luiz Villas Boas: A Ultima Viagem” is debuting in Lisbon this week, about the father of Portuguese jazz (and an absolute force of nature), with whom I hung out on his final trip to NYC in 1994. Here's a brief trailer of the film.

The film's director (excellent trumpeter and old friend Laurent Filipe) included me in the footage, excerpted below. In quick succession, there's me telling my famous "Brooklyn Alphabet" joke in a cab on the Williamsburgh Bridge, orienting Luis from the Brooklyn promenade, blowing a cappella over "Body and Soul", and (off-camera) sitting in with my pal Walter "Baby Sweets" Perkins in the Skylark Lounge out by JFK airport, both sorely missed.

A mere three years later, I locked myself in a shabby apartment and sat down in front of a computer to create an online community (which a million people unexpectedly crowded into) and didn't emerge for nine years. Then picked up my horn and couldn't make a sound.

Search for Walter and for Skylark in old Slog postings for interesting tales. This black bar - the sort of joint where men wore nice hats - was perhaps the only place I ever felt fully at home. And Walter was the only drummer with whom I ever felt complete simpatico (here we are playing in Barcelona two years earlier). I'm actually not quite sure what I'm even doing here with both gone.

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